SPEECH BY SHRI T. R. ZELIANG, CHIEF MINISTER, NAGALAND ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT BY SHRI NARENDRA MODI, HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER TO NAGALAND ON 1ST DECEMBER, 2014
AT NAGA HERITAGE VILLAGE, KOHIMA.
- Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji,
- Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland, Shri P. B. Acharya,
- Excellency Chief Ministers of Sagaing and Kachin, Myanmar,
- Hon’ble Speaker & Deputy Speaker of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly,
- Hon’ble Colleagues, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Advisers and MLAs from the Government of Nagaland,
- Hon’ble MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,
- Esteemed Members of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s entourage,
- Special Invitees,
- Tourists from all over the world,
- Citizens of Nagaland
- Friends from the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- It is indeed a momentous day for the people of Nagaland to have the Hon’ble Prime Minister in our midst as we celebrate the ‘Festival of festivals’ this year. I am extremely grateful to you Sir, for choosing to visit Nagaland on this joyous occasion, which coincides with the State inauguration day. As Nagaland celebrates its 51st Anniversary of Statehood today, I take this opportunity to warmly greet the people of Nagaland on this auspicious occasion – the benign presence of the Hon’ble Prime Minister has indeed added greater importance and stature to this special day.
- It was 11 years ago, in the year 2003, that the then Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Nagaland, and today, after a long gap of more than a decade, we are privileged to have with us the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji. Sir, like the rest of the country, the people of Nagaland, too, look forward enthusiastically to your dynamic leadership. Let me assure you, Hon’ble Prime Minister, that my government and the people of Nagaland will stand by you, as you set goals for the country’s future and as you ably steer our country to its rightful place in the comity of nations. Never before has India’s prestige soared so high in the international arena, and never before, have the people of India placed so much trust and confidence on a Prime Minister. You are, indeed, carrying the hopes and aspirations of the people of India on your shoulders; and you can be rest assured that we in Nagaland, no matter how insignificant in size, are committed to support and follow the agenda of good governance set by you and become an asset, rather than a liability, to the Nation.
- Hon’ble Prime Minister, Nagaland is the 16th State of the Indian Union, and the second oldest State of the North-East. It was created as a consequence of the 16 – Point Agreement of 1960, signed by the Government of India and the Naga People’s Convention. It was on this day in 1963 that the then President, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan inaugurated the State of Nagaland. However, even after 50 years of Statehood, the true potential of the State have yet to be fully harnessed and the advantages that our State has, such as the rich cultural heritage, its natural beauty and abundant natural resources, and its strategic location are yet to be truly exploited to the State’s advantage. ‘Peace for Development and Development for Peace’ has, therefore, been the slogan of the Government. Towards this end, and it goes without saying, that we have many needs and many areas where we require active handholding from the Government of India. We have listed some of these in the Memorandum submitted to you last evening at Dimapur. Sir, I still remember when you commented during our last meeting at Delhi that visiting Nagaland is going to be a very costly proposition! We expect and hope that this visit of yours may indeed prove to be costly for the Government of India, in order that it becomes a boon for the people of Nagaland!
- Above all, however, I must mention Sir that our crying need is the peaceful resolution to the vexed Naga political issue, which has become the uppermost agenda of not only the State Government, but also the mass based organisations, NGOs, Civil Societies, business organisations along with the rest of the people of the State. I earnestly appeal to the Government of India to expedite towards arriving at an early resolution to the six decade old Naga political issue. It is only under your leadership that our most cherished dream will become a reality. The people of Nagaland want peace and want to grow to be a self reliant State on equal terms with the other advanced States of the Union.
- Through this brief opening function, we have shown you a glimpse of our culture, both old and modern. You will notice that whilst the Nagas love to preserve our tradition and culture, we are also trying to move equally fast on the road to modernity and civilization. With your blessings and support, I am confident that in the next ten years, we will witness a vibrant Nagaland.
- Finally, on behalf of the people of Nagaland, and on my own behalf, once again, sincerely thank you for your kind words and thoughtful insights into our society, and for the time you have spent with us. We wish that you carry good memories of your first visit to our State. It is our genuine hope that we will not have to wait very long for another visit of the Prime Minister to our State. We wish you Godspeed and good health, as you go about in your mission to make India a developed and inclusive nation, respected by the global community.
Thank You and Jai Hind!